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GCOS Atmosphere Upper-Air ECV - Cloud Properties

The variable properties of clouds determine their profound effects on radiation and precipitation. They are influenced by and in turn influence the motion of the atmosphere on many scales. They are affected by the presence of aerosols, and modify atmospheric composition in several ways, including the depletion of ozone when they form in the polar stratosphere. The feedback from changes in cloud remains one of the most uncertain aspects of future climate projections and is primarily responsible for the wide range of estimates of climate sensitivity from models.

Product Requirements:

  • Cloud amount:
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 0.01-0.05
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.01/decade
    • Standards/references: ESA CCI CMUG tables (http://www.esa-cmug-cci.org/)
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
  • Cloud Top Pressure:
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 15-50 hPa,
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 3-15 hPa
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
  • Cloud Top Temperature:
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 1-5 K
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.25 K/decade
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
  • Cloud Optical Depth:
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 10%
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 2%
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
  • Cloud Water Path (liquid and ice):
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 25 %
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 5 %
  • C, effective particle radius (liquid and ice):
    • Frequency: 3 hr
    • Resolution: 50 km/NA
    • Required Measurement Uncertainty: 1 m
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 1 um/decade

Networks:

Data Sources: